A game of truth
He first noticed her the morning the people from Silverymoon arrived, Lady Alustriel had told of their arrival and Bruenor had come to greet them. Since the dwarfs had got Mithral hall back from the duergars they had explored it and deep within the huge complex of tunnels and rooms someone had come across a huge room filled with ancient scrolls and books. Nobody knew why Bruenors for-fathers had gathered all this old lore and wisdom but there it was and the Lady had many Wizards and scholars who were dying to get a glimpse of this new found library. Bruenor had agreed to let them visit the place and make a registry of everything there, he did not care that much about such matters. And so a group of wise elderly men and elves had showed up as warned, and then there was this one female. And he believed her to be some elven woman interested in history or perhaps a servant even.
Since the fighting was done he had spent a lot of time with the good lady and she had seemed a bit distant minded lately, like she was thinking about something that was worrying her. He did not like that, she was a good friend, but on the other hand, he had been absent minded himself. Cattie-Brie and Wulfgar was busy preparing for their wedding and he felt a bit alone at times. And there were thoughts within his head he really didn’t want there. He was happy on their behalf, he really was. It was just that.... If only.. He had to shake these ideas out of that stubborn head of him, she would be happy with the barbarian, he was sure of it. It was for the best. He kept saying that to himself over and over again and no matter how many times he said it it seemed strangely hollow, almost like a lie.
A few days went before he noticed the female again, she was wearing a huge cloak with a deep cowl and he never saw her face on the few occasions that she appeared among the others. She seemed to stay down there, within the room with all the books. The others left every evening but she didn’t and he got curious. He was really a bit bored and something about that person triggered his instincts, like he sensed a sort of danger from her. The dwarfs were busy doing repairs to whatever damages the duergar and the dragon had caused and outside it had been raining for days.
He went to the library late one evening, the others had left since they preferred to stay somewhere a little less sinister and he stopped outside of the door, a little nervous. He really had no business disturbing what probably was a very wise and dedicated person, she probably would ask him to leave. But he wanted to know who she was, and why she kept so to herself. She did not even eat with the others from the group. He knocked on the door, heard nothing and swallowed, should he leave? Heck, he had just as much a right to be there as she, he could claim that he was curious too, and wanted to see the library for himself. He opened the door, the room had been vented but still there was a dry smell of old books and dust and he made a grimace. There was a sound from somewhere and he located it, it came from behind some huge shelves at the back of the room.
He carefully walked closer, feeling a bit guilty and at the same time curious. He turned the corner and stopped, stared at her with confusion and disbelief. He had never seen a creature like her before. She had taken the cloak off, was wearing a long tunic and loose pants in a soft blue colour and she was stunning. He had not seen any creature with green hair! And not just green, it was like all the hues and colours of the forest had melted into a symphony of green, from the light green of the springs first leaves to the deep dark almost blue branches of the old pines. And there was also a hint of the gold and red of autumn. She had very dark skin, a soft brown colour with some hints of red to it and she was not very tall but she was elegant and yet there was strength within her. She was indeed a very shapely one, she had curves in abundance and he could not understand why she would hide within that huge cloak. She looked like a walking tent the first times he saw her.
He cleared his throat and she gasped, almost dropped a huge book and turned her face toward him. It made him stare until he realized how impolite it was. She was beautiful and yet strange, her features were almost elven but there was something else too. She was so very delicate and her eyes were quite large and sparklingly stunningly green too. She had pointy ears but they were smaller than elven ears and her long neck and narrow face reminded him somehow of a swan. He felt like a fool, he had scared her. Off course she got scared, she had been working and suddenly there was a drow staring at her, who would not be freaked out? He bowed, tried to look like less of an idiot than he felt.
“I am sorry, I should have warned you, I am...”
She placed the book into the shelf again, brushed the dust of her hands. “You are Drizzt yes, I know who you are. The lady has spoken of you many times. “
He looked at her, she looked very exotic. “I hope she hasn’t said anything too bad then, ah... but she has never mentioned you?”
She smiled, caressed the back of the books with a long and slender hand that looked incredibly elegant. She was no elf, and no human either. He got ever more curious.
“No, nothing bad at all, she has only said positive things. And yes, I have asked her not to tell everybody of me. Not everyone feels comfortable around me” The last words had an edge to them, like she somehow was hurt and he lifted his eyebrows. She was really gorgeous, why wouldn’t people like her?
She turned around, faced him. There was something within the strange green eyes that reminded him of sadness, or perhaps a kind of fatigue. “You are used to people being scared of you at first, because of your skin right? They see a drow, not a ranger. It is the same thing with me you see. And by the way, my name is Aember.”
He felt a bit shocked, hadn’t realized that there were other creatures who might be feared, but why would anyone fear someone like her? She could not be dangerous?
“Why? What are you by the way?” She grinned, a rather cold grin.
“That my friend, is why I am here. Cause nobody knows what I am! I hoped that I could find an answer somewhere within these scrolls, or a clue at least.”
He felt stunned. “ How can you not know what you are?”
She sighed and crossed her arms across her chest. “ I was found in the woods by some hunters, newborn and abandoned. They brought me to a kind elderly couple who raised me like their own daughter. I could have had a good childhood had it not been for.. “
She sighed, looked straight at him.
“You know what it’s like to be different right? Even though you grew up among your own kin, with only those lavender eyes of yours to mark you as different. I had to grow up in a human village and you can’t imagine how cruel children can be. “
He felt somehow that she was a bit like himself, he could understand cause he had seen how humans treated those who weren’t exactly like the rest. “ So you are here searching for the truth about yourself? “
She nodded, pointed at the books. “ If I knew what I am then maybe it all makes sense, it hasn’t been for nothing.”
She nodded toward a table at the end of the room. “ Lets sit, I am tired and the chairs aren’t that bad. “ He followed her, she moved with an incredible grace, she was silent too and something about her told him that she was feeling more at home within the forest than within this mountain.
She cocked her head, stared at him. “ You have been searching for a home for a long time, so have I. And you have faced rejection and hatred because of what you are, I think we share the same fate in some ways. I have been living like a wild thing for years, until the good lady took me in and showed me that I could be more than that.”
He felt his mouth go dry, was this really true? Was she someone who had faced at least some of the same problems that he had gone through? Someone who would understand? “ A wild thing?”
He could not imagine this very feminine and beautiful creature as wild. Her hair reached her knees it seemed and it was shiny and well groomed and her smell was very pleasant too. Like wild flowers.
She gave him a tired smile. “ Yes, I left the village when my step parents died, I no longer had any protection, against the rest of the people and against myself. “
He frowned. “ Against yourself? Please explain that?”
She nodded, there was a glimpse of something bitter sweet within her eyes. She stretched her arms out across the small table, pulled up her sleeves. Her soft dark skin was scarred, wide ugly scars that didn’t look like anything he had ever seen. What weapon could cause such injuries? He hissed at the sight, remembered his own scars. “ Who?”
She sighed, stroked a finger along one of the long straight scars. “ I was seven, oh I tried to be like the other kids, wanted so badly to be like them, to be liked by them. “ She stared down into the table and he saw how her eyes sparkled even more.
“Some boys lured me into the woods behind the village, they tied me to a tree and then they used a cheese knife to peel the skin of me, to see what was underneath. They thought it had to be wood or something!”
He gasped, felt disgusted and shocked and she saw the expression in his eyes and smiled slowly. “ Yes, humans can be just as vile as your kin, sometimes even worse. Believe me, I know” He swallowed again, he was really stunned by what she told him.
“You see, being as I am can awaken the cruelty within some people, they see something unknown and the unknown is worse than an enemy you know. The unknown is something you must destroy or else it might destroy you. “
Again that cold grin. “Oh they kept tormenting me for years, and when I came of age and changed the problems changed too. I suddenly was something they both hated and wanted. “
She lifted her hands, acted as if she was lifting her breasts with an ironic grimace. “By then I had realized that I never would be like them, so I avoided them as best as I could. If they had hurt me I had nobody to protect me, no strong family to protect my honour. So I learned to protect myself!”
He nodded, how familiar that sounded. “ You learned how to fight? “
She smiled, a dreamy smile. “ In my own way yes, I learned what I could do, what was in my blood. “
She reached over the table, touched his hand gently and he twitched, he was not used to anyone touching him like that. “You are a fighter Drizzt, I have heard of your skills. With a blade there is no one matching you. Imagine if you had to fight for your life without weapons of steel? It would be harder right? “
He could only nod, there was a weird fire burning within that green gaze, something that reminded him of anger and to his horror also of his other side, of the hunter that was resting within his mind. “ I have never wielded weapons like yours, no blades, not even a bow. And yet I am a killer, and I have taken lives, lots of lives.”
She sighed again and her hand caressed his in a way that felt strangely good and also disturbing. She was after all an almost stunningly beautiful woman and he was not used to female interest. “ Then how? And why?”
She closed her eyes, her head fell backward and there was pain in her expression. “ You have seen what roots may do to stone? Imagine those roots and branches moving fast, like lightning. Ripping stone to shreds within seconds. What they do to stone they may do to flesh, that is my power, that is my curse.”
She stared into his eyes, almost snarling. “ That is how I kill, with the help of plants. They obey me, follow my every order. That is why I left the village, I knew that if I stayed my rage would no longer be under my control, I would have killed them all. “
He could barely believe what she told him, and yet he recognized it, the anger within her voice, the need for revenge. He had shared those emotions. She smiled, a gentle smile this time, almost loving. “ You do understand, the lady said you would. I think she knows you pretty well, and she knows me too I guess. She knows what’s lurking within the darkness of my mind. “
She made a grimace. “ I have avoided others for decades, avoided temptation and yet I have longed for others, for someone to speak to. Loneliness may be a killer. “
How he understood her words, how true they rang within his mind. “ It is, yes. “
She crossed her arms again, the sadness returned to her face. “ I hoped that I would find others like me, my kin, my people. So I roamed the lands alone, searching and trying to find some clues to what race I am, but nobody knew anything. And even those who did not fear me caused me pain, cause they never saw me as me, as Aember. They just saw a female travelling alone and they made their own conclusions. “
He had to draw his breath, fast. “ Did anyone...?! “
She stared straight at him. “ Rape me? No, but not because they weren’t trying, I’ll tell you that. It is weird really, I am no human but that did not stop them, they had those ideas anyhow. “
He did not know what to say, just kept staring at the table. “ Well, you are...pretty.. no matter what you are!”
She grinned. “ Thanks, I know you mean it.” She laughed, the sound was amazing, like the sound of small silver bells. “Those guys usually got other things to think about, men do change their priority when a root gets wrapped around their parts if you know what I mean?”
He had to laugh, even though it really was shocking. “ You can do that?”
She smiled with pride in her eyes. “ Yeah, and more. One guy was so persistent I gave him a doze of his own medicine.” He got an ugly suspicion. “ And by that you mean?”
She grinned, an almost dangerous smile. “ He got a thick root stuck up where the sun don’t shine. He could not think about trying to fuck me while he was being fucked by that, could not walk afterwards but by the goddess was it well deserved! “ She looked as if she was thinking about something for a few seconds. “ I don’t think he got seriously hurt though, think he survived!”
He really did not know what to think about her, she was obviously capable of doing rather bad things and at the same time there was something about her that told him she wasn’t a bad person. She looked at the shelves. “ I have been down here for days, and I haven’t found anything yet, it is getting down right boring. Is there anywhere within this place that is less sinister? I would not mind a bath, or seeing something green. These grey rocks are making me depressed!”
He had to think a bit before he found an answer. “There is a cave, on top of the mountain. It’s got a pond, and a hole in the roof. And I think there is some ferns growing there. “
She lit up like a bonfire. “ Excellent, show me! “
He hesitated, then he nodded and she grabbed her cloak and put it on, followed him through the door after having grabbed a small basket. She carried it with her and he had to think hard to remember the way to the small cave. He did find it and felt a little proud of himself. It was an idyllic place and very safe too. The small pond lay there like an eye, shining and clear and he noticed that the moon was up. The cold moonlight fell into the water and created a perfect mirror reflection. He had not thought of the fact that it was dark outside now. She did not seem to mind, she made a small noise of joy and ran along the narrow shore, touched the few small plants that grew there with obvious care. No, she was not a bad person, not at all. There was maybe a bit of mischief within her but whatever she had done it had been done for a purpose.
The plants were almost moving into her hands and he could understand her power, being able to control plants was really impressive, and a bit scary too. And how lovely she was in the moonlight, like a fleeting soft shadow dancing through the shimmering light. He was a bit mesmerized by the sight, she was as joyful as a child and her laughter free from anything but happiness. She ran down to the pond, felt the water, came back with a huge smile across her face. She sat down in the sand next to him. “This place is wonderful, why aren’t the dwarves here? “
He had to smile. “ They care more about stones, this place holds nothing that’s tempting them. “
She sighed. “ Then it’s their loss. “ She grabbed the basket and opened it. It contained some bread and cheese and she nodded toward him.
“ Please share it with me, you must be hungry too?” He had not thought about it but she was right, he was hungry.
They ate in silence, the cheese was good and she had good manners, he could see that. “ Have you been with the Lady for long? “
He felt like he had to ask and she nodded. “ Yes. Several years now. I spend most of my time in the woods near the city though, can’t stand the city itself. Too many people. “
He could understand that, the people of Silverymoon was very tolerant but he guessed that she had gotten a bit reluctant to be among humans. She stretched, smiled and pulled her cloak closer around her. “ The elves are different tough, they are friendly to me but even they feel a bit uncertain around me, like they doesn’t really know what to say to me, or how to behave around me.”
He brushed some crumbs away from his clothes, looked at her with surprise. “ Really? I thought they would be just accepting toward someone like you? “
She sighed, ran her hand through the soft sand. “ Acceptance is one thing, being treated like a child is something else. Most of them are all right tough, but some of them are rather patronizing. I don’t like it.”
She stared at the sand, there was sadness in her face. “ The few people I have come to call friends has all been elves, and I guess it’s my own fault that I don’t have more friends. But I have learned to stay away from others, sooner or later bad things seem to happen. “
He looked at her, she looked bitter somehow. “ I know that feeling, have made some mistakes myself. But I have learned from them. “ She grinned. “ So I have heard, and now you have a place here to call a home. “
He sighed, felt a bit distressed. “ Yes, I do...”
She turned her head, stared straight at his face. “ You seem reluctant somehow? Don’t you feel at home here? Your friends are all here! “
He tried to shake the feeling of unease away. “ Well, yes they are. I don’t know why I feel like I should leave but..” Aember sighed, then she took his hand again.
“I know why, you fear that things will change now right? You fear that she will forget about you when she’s married to him and what then about your feelings? Sometimes running away only makes things worse, believe me, I know!”
He felt a bit irritated, how could she know of his feelings? But she seemed to be very sensitive, perhaps even more than elves are.
“Maybe, I know I should think of her only as a friend and.. but it is hard!” He had to look down and there was true compassion within those strange green eyes.
“Sometimes our feelings haunt us, it is the curse of all living beings you know. But without them we would be nothing.” She sat up, grabbed onto her knees and was leaning her chin against them, she was as agile as any elf and he was a bit fascinated by her, he had to admit that. “ And what about her emotions?”
He made a grimace. “ I hope she sees me as her friend, nothing more than that. And why should she by the way, I am...” She pointed a slender finger at him. “ You are a drow and you think that you are unattractive because of that. That being with you will somehow taint whoever is brave enough to be more than your friend, that it will put that person in some kind of danger. I am right am I not?”
He stared at her in utter disbelief. “ Are you reading my mind?”
She smiled, her teeth were so incredibly white, and that face so special and yet so very beautiful. “ No need to, I am rather good at making conclusions based upon what I do know of people.”
His eyes narrowed, he stared at her with some suspicion. “ Or perhaps you have been in a similar situation?”
She blushed, he could see it, and she looked down a bit. “ Maybe you are right!”
She made a grimace. “ I have also lost someone I hoped would be the one, to someone else. And it was for the best, it never could have worked the way I hoped for. But the heartache lasted, and I guess it’s still there somehow. But it was an experience I wouldn’t have missed, I learned a lot. “
He felt a strange kind of connection with her at that moment, some kind of kinship. “ Like what?”
She grinned, there was a glimpse of humour within her eyes. “ Like what not to do when trying to catch someone’s attention.” She giggled and looked very young all of a sudden. “ I guess the sudden sight of someone stark naked can be a bit overwhelming, at least when your not expecting it. “
She crossed her legs, grinned at him. “ Have you ever made any mistakes like that? “
He coughed, had not expected such a question and shook his head. She shrugged. “ Doesn’t surprise me, the lady told me you could be bit.. tense and closed up!” He gaped, so the good lady had been that sharing?
She was leaning backwards, her hands in the sand and her hair was like a green lake around her. “ I have a suggestion, she said you are brave, and I know I am. What if we play a little game just the two of us? “
He frowned, got nervous right away. What was this? “What sort of a game? Why?”
She shrugged. “ I am bored, and I actually like being here with you, I feel like I can trust you. Its really simple, it’s called truth or dare. “
He didn’t really know what to think about this, he should be somewhere else but where? The others had their own things to tend to now and he was rather comfortable being there with her. He was curious about her and she got his mind away from the thoughts that had bothered him the last weeks.
“ Can’t say I have heard of it, what kind of game is that? “ She sat up, looked very determined all of a sudden.
“ I ask you truth or dare and you choose. If you go for truth you must answer truly to whatever I ask you and if you go for dare you must do whatever I ask you to do. Then we switch and you get to ask me. “
He made a swift smile. “ A children’s game! “ Her smile was a slow one, there was a strange light flickering within her eyes. “ Oh, but it doesn’t need to be that way. “
She stared straight at him. There was a challenge in her expression and he swore to himself. If she dared doing this then he wasn’t going to be less brave. And there was things he would want to ask her about. “ Right, I’ll play. You’ll start then. “
She nodded. “ Fine, truth or dare? “ He sat up like her, crossed his legs and his eyes got narrow. “ Dare!”
She cocked her head and her eyes got narrow. “ Stand on your hands!” He shook his head in disbelief. “ O.K!”
He got up, flipped upside down and was standing on his hands, he could hold that position for a long time and wondered what she meant by that, it seemed childish. She stared at him, was leaning over and looked a bit silly really. “ The lady told me you are strong and agile, I believe her. You may turn the right way again now. “
He grinned and flipped over, stood on his feet and felt a bit stupid. It was a good thing that nobody who knew him was there. She bit her lower lip, looked up at him, her eyes told him of determination. “ I choose truth”
He sat down next to her, tried to find a good question, one he wanted an answer to. “ You said you have killed, who did you kill?”
She seemed to shrink in front of him and he swore to himself, he had obviously asked her that one question that hurt her the most and he regretted it immediately.
“ I...” She hid her face within her hair, looked like a huge tuft of grass. The sight almost made him laugh but he could not, he had hurt her feelings and he felt like an idiot. “ I have killed humans, several actually. They were hurting the forest I lived in. And I have...” She was shivering a bit, then she stared at him, her eyes were dark and there was danger within them. “ I have killed elves, drow elves!”
He gasped, stared at her in utter disbelief and shock. “ What?!”
She snarled, suddenly he really believed what she had said about being a wild thing. “It was a surface raid, against a group of elves I saw as my friends. I sensed them approaching and I knew I had to kill them all to save those who had been kind to me. So I did. I had the trees and the roots and the vines grasp them, pull them apart, choke them to death. I will never forget their screams though, it was terrible. But they were evil, I don’t think they deserved anything better. “
He had to swallow hard, stared at her with a kind of apprehension. “ You think I am a terrible creature now, right?” There was sadness within her voice and he shook his head in despair, this was not what he would have wanted, not at all.
“No, no! You did the right thing, they are horrible and they deserved it. Believe me, I know! You are not terrible, you are good, I know you are!”
She smiled, a shy smile that made her very charming. “ Thank you, but I am not only good, I have such rage within me at times. It frightens me! It’s not who I want to be, I mean, I have so much more inside of me. So much...”
She sighed. “ So much love, passion...compassion. It is just that I never seem to have any use for them, the world is so hard and violent. Maybe rage is better in the long run. It is at least a heck of a lot safer!”
He saw the sadness within her, the loss. And he recognized it from his own life, all those feelings he never had shared, everything that was hidden deep within him, of both good and bad.
“I guess you have answered my question, so I choose truth too, so we might get even, O.K?”
She nodded, closed her eyes for a second. “ Right, here goes. Have you ever been with someone?”
He got confused. “ Been with? Oh, ah..no!” He felt his cheeks burn, a luck nobody could see that he actually was blushing.
“ Really? You are darn handsome. Why?” She was leaning a bit towards him, studying his face. He felt trapped somehow, he should answer but he felt ashamed. And embarrassed, like never before. Nobody had spoken to him like that, so openly.
“ Let’s just say that the females where I come from are someone you should avoid if you can.. and it’s the old problem again.. my colour..”
She made a grimace. “ I have heard of drow women yes, they are the torturing kind right? Prefer inflicting pain instead of pleasure? No wonder you are a bit nervous around females! “
He looked at her with an expression of mild denial. “ I am not!”
She grinned, a wide almost sarcastic grin. “ Oh but you are, and you are using your background as an excuse. I know I am right! Or do you prefer guys?”
He had to cough again, shook his head violently. “ I do not prefer men no, it’s common back in the underdark though, attracting the attention of the females may prove lethal. So I guess the men has to make due with what’s available and less dangerous. “
She nodded. “ Makes sense, I can understand that. And so you have avoided others, and I think you are a bit afraid of being intimate with someone right? But you must be bothered by it too, all living beings have these needs unless you are cold hearted?”
He could not look at her, stared into the sand. There was so much he wanted to get lifted off his mind, to get out in the open and he did not know if he could. If it at all was possible. “ No, I am not cold hearted. “
She grinned, there was something soft within her eyes, a sort of pity. “ Tell me, you may trust me. I think you need someone to talk to, open hearted.”
He looked at her for a few seconds, shyly. “ I don’t know if I should..it’s embarrassing.”
She sighed. “ You know everything about fighting and surviving my friend, everything about the dangers and darkness out there. And yet you know naught of the joys of life, oh you have learned a little I guess. The joy of having friends, of trusting someone, of having a home But you are wearing an armour around your soul, never letting anyone inside of it. That may protect you but it can also choke you to death. You risk ending up as a creature just as cold and distant as these rocks. Is that what you want? “
He shook his head, frightened by her words cause he knew the truth within them. She was right, he had never really dared to share his feelings with anyone. He had been very open with Cattie when she was younger but when she matured he had somehow kept a distance. “ I.. I have never learned anything about those kinds of feelings..I guess that’s what’s wrong. “
She smiled. “ Never a warm and nurturing past, I was lucky there, my stepmother was very kind to me but she failed in some ways too. I guess she never saw me as a person with desires and needs like all others, I was very naïve.”
She turned toward him again, stared straight into his eyes. “ So, tell me what’s bothering you, any secrets are safe with me.” He didn’t really know what to say. But there was things he so desperately wanted to know more about, and he never had had any chance of asking anyone. Perhaps she would know?
“ Well..ah...” She grinned. “ Don’t look so ashamed, come on..”
He stared into the sand, was digging his hand into it, just to do something. “ I..I have had dreams...and when I wake up I..” He could not finish the sentence, felt like he had revealed something terrible.
She just sighed. “ And when you wake up you have either come in your sleep or you are still aroused and has to finish with a quick hand job right? “
He twitched, stared at her like he didn’t really believe that she could be so straight forward about this matters. She giggled. “ Oh you poor thing, your not doing anything bad, or wrong. Nothings wrong with you, you are completely normal. Everybody does that from time to time. And those who says their not are lying just so you know it. “
He let go of his breath, had not been aware that he had been holding it. “ Is that true? I... I thought that..”
She smiled at him, a gentle understanding smile. “ You thought you were the only one who were doing that right? You are not, I can tell you that! But it is good for you, don’t be ashamed and just enjoy it. If there is nobody to be with then it’s the next best thing I guess. “
He kept staring at the sand, remembered those dreams and had a feeling that he should be a little ashamed of them, the things he had dreamed of! But maybe it wasn’t so bad after all? She had to be reading his mind again, she tilted her head. “ Dreams are just that, dreams. They mean nothing. Don’t fear them.”
He bit his lower lip. “ I heard things when I was at the academy, at night. There were things going on in the dorms, some students were teaming up attacking others who were considered weak. I came from a strong house and I was a better fighter than the others so they left me alone. But I thought that everything of that nature was.. bad!”
She sighed, caressed his hand again, very lightly. “ But it’s not, you must have seen that now, after years on the surface?”
He nodded. “ I guess I have realized that there is another side to it but I somehow never believed that it was possible for me to...”
He made a grimace. “ I have answered have I not, your turn! “
She nodded. “ Yes, truth! “ He tried to collect his thoughts. “ Do women...?”
She giggled, stretched out on the sand and rested her head against her hand.“ Yes they do, we are not that different than you guys you know, we too have needs! “
He felt himself blushing again but he had an almost giddy feeling, he was learning! Finding answers to things he never would have dared asking anyone else. She sighed, pulled some loose locks of hair out of her face.
“ I said I was naïve, it may be a good thing but not always. “
He could see that there was some kind of bitterness within her eyes. “ You have made mistakes?”
She smiled, a glimpse of pain within her eyes. “ Oh yes, I have made mistakes.”
She sat up again, clenched her knees. She looked very young again, defenceless somehow. “ I was in love once, and I thought that I had found the person I would stay with forever. I was such a romantic fool, had such great hopes and dreams.” She hid her face within her hair again and he suddenly wanted to comfort her, to take away whatever it was that was haunting her.
“It.. It went bad? “
She nodded, still hidden. “ An understatement. I had misjudged his character completely. He was a scoundrel and a scum bag. “ There was a small laughter, bitter and hard. “ I guess he saw me for what I was, hopelessly stupid. An easy prey. “
He stared at her, in disbelief. “ Did he hurt you?”
She nodded again. “ Yes, and I let it happen! I did not know! Oh it was great at first, we were walking along the rivers at night, holding hands like kids. And kissing, yes there was a lot of that. And he was good at it too.”
She sighed again, a tired sigh. “ And after a time we got to the point where we actually did it, and it wasn’t at all what I had imagined. I had such pretty dreams of what it would be like, wonderful and all that stuff.”
He got curious and at the same time he felt a strong pity. “ It wasn’t like that? “
She laughed again.“ Heck no, it was terrible! It hurt like hell and he wouldn’t stop, like he had gone deaf! I did not know what to do so I just let him continue even though I felt like I was being ripped apart. And afterwards he just left, he had gotten what he wanted and I was nothing. Just another wench he had had his way with. It almost broke my heart. “ He stared at her, felt a deep anger building up inside. “ That was.. I don’t know what to say.. He should have been.. “ She stared at him again, green eyes burning with a flame that scared him. “ Killed? Maybe, sometimes death is the easy way out you know. He paid for what he had done to me, and others. Oh he paid. “
There was something almost malicious within her glance and he knew that the man had been punished. “ I learned, that’s the good thing about it.” She closed her eyes for a short moment.
“ I was so much younger back then, I’d guess I can blame it on my lack of experience. “
She rolled over in the sand, her blue tunic glittering with grains of it, it looked like a lot of small gems. “ Truth or dare?” Her question somehow caught him off guard, he looked a bit bewildered for a few seconds, then he answered. “Truth?”
She nodded. “ I would have hoped that you would choose dare but what the hey, I have a question all right!”
She drew her breath, bit her lower lip. “ Do you like me?”
It was an seemingly easy question to answer and yet it was so darn hard. What did she mean by like?
“Yes, I like you.”
She grinned, a satisfied grin and her eyes got softer again. She sighed. “ You are honest, I know that. I have met so many who aren’t. Not a bit.”
She flipped her hair back, her eyes got narrow and he could sense that she got tense somehow. “ Tell me, if you had the chance, would you..would you sleep with me?”
The question was very direct and he knew that she bared her soul. He had to be honest in return of her trust. He cleared his throat. “ I..I..would, most definitely. “
She smiled, a wide smile that made her amazingly beautiful. He had made her happy with that answer, it felt good.
“I would have to give you the same question though. “
She leaned her head into her hands again, her eyes soft. “ I would, no doubt about it. I see beyond colour you see. You don’t scare me, I hope you have guessed that by now.”
He had to smile, it was really weird, he had not at all thought about that for a long time now. “ I have, it’s..amazing” She petted his hand and there was such a gentleness within those wonderful eyes. “ See? It’s all about what’s underneath the surface, one should never judge a book by it’s cover alone.” He had to agree on that.
She got on her feet, stretched and shook herself, her hair flew around her and she grinned. “ And now to the bath I have been dying for! “
She walked down toward the pond and pulled off her soft boots. He turned around, felt a bit uncertain about what to do now. He could hear her getting rid of her tunic and pants, then he heard splashes and shivered a bit, it had to be darn cold but she didn’t seem to care. He could hear her swimming around and she was obviously enjoying the bath. He had to turn his head, just a little. She was standing up and the water reached her thighs, in the moonlight she looked like a statue, a work of art. Her skin was shimmering with drops of water and he gasped and stared away immediately. She was..He could not find the words but suddenly he noticed his own heavy breath and the fact that his pants had gotten uncomfortably tight. He swallowed, tried to think about anything else but it failed. His inner eye could not forget what he just had seen, that narrow waist, those perfect breast and her round lovely ass. He was counting backwards from one hundred, pulling his legs close to his body and frantically trying to look calm. She returned, he could hear her, and she sat down in the sand, wrapped in her cloak. Her hair wet and her skin flushing, his breath caught again and he had to force his mind into another path.
She giggled. “ You look like you could need a cold bath too. “
He gave her a quick stare, then he jumped to his feet. A cold bath, the idea was excellent. He almost ran down to the small pond, kicked his boots off, tore his clothing off and almost lost his balance once. He could only hope that she did not have night vision but somehow that didn’t matter. What mattered was to cool off! He dove into the pond and it was cold indeed, freezing. He felt like his skin would freeze there and then and he managed to stay in a couple of minutes before he had to get back up again. His feet felt numb and he was grateful, the fire was extinguished before it got really bad. He grabbed his own cloak, wrapped it around himself. He had to careful, or else.. He had to stop for a second, or else what? What was it that he was so afraid of? He sat down and swallowed, still shivering from the cold.
She bit her lip, stared at the pond with dreamy eyes.
“ This place is really beautiful.” She turned her head toward him, there was a teasing glimpse within her gaze.
“ You were really desperate there, am I that arousing? “
He gasped, eyes flickering and pulse quickening yet again. “ Yes!”
She giggled. “ At least you confess to it.” She pushed herself closer to him and he got a bit tense. “ I chose truth by the way” He nodded. “ Are you doing this on purpose? “
She looked at him, innocently. “ Doing what? “
He made a grimace, pulled his cloak tighter around him. “ Being so..”
She sighed.“ I’ll tell you one thing, no doubt your inexperienced cause your almost unable to control yourself. To dam such feelings up inside can be risky, sooner or later something has gotta give.”
She touched his hand again and he shivered. “ I am not doing anything, I am just being me. Believe me. I could tough!”
He felt trapped, and yet he was yearning like never before. What if? He could not finish the thought, but the very idea made him gasp and he felt hot again, like he was sitting next to a fire. She tilted her head, her lips formed a soft smile. “ So, what do you choose?”
He did not know whether or not he should answer but he had to, this had to finish, somehow.” Dare!”
She looked like she was thinking about something naughty, then she caught his eyes again. “ Fine, touch this!”
She dropped her cloak from her shoulder, baring one full perfect breast with an erect nipple. He gasped, suddenly he was very glad he had the cloak to hide within and he could not pull his eyes away from this teasing sight. He couldn’t move, could not think. “ A..are you serious?!”
His voice hoarse and barely audible, he wanted to touch her, no needed to touch her like a fish needs water to breathe but he did not know if he dared to.
She sighed again, a bit tired it seemed. “ Yes, by the Gods. Just do it, I don’t bite! “
He had to grin from what she said but it was so serious too. He had never touched a woman like that, the only contact he had had was some swift hugs and during sparring. And that was nothing like this. His hand was shaking, he kept staring at her like he was drowning and she was holding the key to his salvation. He could not believe it but his hand slowly moved toward her, like it had a will of it’s own and his fingers touched her skin. And it was so soft, so warm.. He whimpered and let his hand rest against her, she pushed herself into his grip and he felt how her breast fitted into his hand, like they were made for each other.
He could feel a strange warmth collecting within his groin and he bent forward, gasping. He could not let go of her, his hand was kneading that softness and she smiled and dropped her cloak to her waist, also baring her other breast. Now there suddenly was two things to think about and he could not help it, he had to touch them both. And she closed her eyes and let out a soft moan. The sound went straight to his groin and he shook all over, could not breathe nor think. She leaned forward, kissed his brow. “ It’s all right, don’t worry. Nothing bad will happen, I promise you.”
And then she kissed his lips and the feeling was beyond anything he could have imagined, he was floating, hovering, and at the same time burning with a desire he never could imagined himself being able to feel.
He was kissing her back, desperately and his hands started to move around, exploring her and the feeling was breathtaking. He suddenly felt like he couldn’t get enough, no way near enough of her. He kissed her lips, her neck, panting and shivering and she let her hands slide over his skin too. It felt so good he could cry, he wanted to just stay within the moment, cherish the feeling of those warm hands touching him like no one ever had touched him but the ache in him wouldn’t allow him that. She grabbed his hands, stared into his eyes and there was fire also in her gaze. She grinned, a wicked little smile. “ Slow down there, no need to rush. This should be like a journey, not a race. “
He moaned, shivering all over like he had been whipped. “ I.. I can’t..”
She nodded. “ I understand, you need to come right? If you are going to learn anything from this I think it’s best that you do, or else you won’t be able to keep your head clear for even a minute. “
And she let her hand slide along his leg, up towards his very eager cock and he felt his heart thundering in his chest, it was almost painful breathing and the feeling of her warm soft hand moving against his skin was amazing. She smiled, pulled away his cloak, he was naked in front of a woman and he didn’t care. And he could see her, see how she reached him, gently caressed him and his eyes closed and he arched backwards, pressing himself up into her hand. The heat exploded within him, forced its way forth and he could hear his own hoarse cry as he came, violently and hard. Lightning was flashing before his eyes and he felt like he was about to faint, it felt so good, it felt so good he could die! It was pleasure on the border of becoming agony, it had never felt like that when he had touched himself.
When he got a hold of himself again he was laying there on the sand and she was sitting next to him, she was smiling and her eyes shone. He felt a bit embarrassed again but she just took a handful of sand and scrubbed away the fluid on her hands and his stomach.
She tilted her head, watched him admiringly. “ You are even more gorgeous than I imagined, if the other women knew what a treasure you are you would be very very popular, I can guarantee you that. “
He felt amazing, so light and yet so heavy and so grateful he wanted to weep. She nodded toward his groin. “ You are most impressive and I am honest. A lot of guys would be really jealous if they knew. “
He made a choked laughing noise, it made him feel a little proud though, although he never had really though of that before.
She sighed and caressed his hair, let her hand gently glide across his head and he closed his eyes in wonder and awe. He never would have imagined this situation, and now it was happening. She let her own cloak fall, laid down next to him. “Tell me, what do you know of us women, of what we like? “
He looked at her face again, strange how comfortable he felt around her, how he trusted her. He tried to smile, but it turned into a grimace. “ Close to nothing really, I have to admit that. “
She laughed and played with a lock of his long white hair. “ Again you are being honest, that is good. The most important thing you must remember is this!” She turned around so she was close to him.
“ You men are like a swift grass fire, it’s burning fast and wild and it dies down again soon. Women are the opposite. We need time to warm up but once it’s done we can keep going for a long time. “
He smiled at her again. “ I think I have heard something like that yes. “
She removed her cloak completely, he had to stare at her again. Now up close he could see the details and his eyes were drawn towards the area where her legs met. She was green there too, and he felt his mouth go dry. She moved closer, then she turned around so he could see better. And she showed him how she was put together and explained and he just lay there and was sweating and felt how his body was aching once more. He felt the urge to touch her and she let him, told him where she needed his hands and soon he lay next to her and she was kissing him again and he felt that hunger possess him once more.
She guided him very well, and he tried to remember everything she said. Knowledge can be as valuable as any treasure and he appreciated it. He was shivering and so was she, her eyes were blurred and she was breathing hard too and he found it to be most exciting, her moans and soft words told him that he was doing this right. She gasped his name, then she suddenly got up and pushed herself over him, straddled his thighs. He stared up at her, he knew what she wanted by sheer instinct and he could not believe it.
“ Are.. are you sure you want to...? “ She nodded, her hand was caressing him again and he felt the world spin in front of his eyes. This was insane, madness, and what a wonderful madness it was.
“ Yes, I am damned sure, if you don’t want to say no?”
He shook his head, desperately. “ Oh I want you, you know that, please..”
She smiled again, moved herself into position. He stared at her, could not do anything else, to much in awe of the moment to be able to say anything. It was happening, it was really happening. What he had dreamed of so many times, he would finally know what it was like! Aember was leading him with her hand, then she slowly let him slide in place and he had to close his eyes and force himself to continue breathing. Her warmth and tightness caressed him and he wanted to move, to push his hips up against hers, hard and fast. She had her hand on his chest, made him follow her rhythm even though every instinct he had was aching. It was wonderful, it was beyond description. She allowed him to do this, he, who never had thought that this would happen to him ever.
She was moving more vigorously, moaning his name, throwing her head back with her eyes shut. The sight was almost unbearably erotic, he knew he couldn’t keep this pace for much longer before he would come again. He could see how their bodies met, how they became as one, the feeling was amazing. She touched her breasts and he raised his hands, realizing what she needed. She just gasped and changed the angle of her hips a bit, then she tensed over loosing all rhythm, moving like in convulsions and she screamed his name.
And he could feel it, feel how her inner muscles were caressing him and it sent him over the top and he bucked against her, hard, while he cried out. Nothing had ever been like this, it was heaven. He did not realize that he had passed out before he opened his eyes to see her sitting next to him, stroking his hair. He was soaking with sweat and she looked a bit concerned. “ Are you all right?”
He swallowed, got up onto his elbows and shook his head. “ I.. guess so.. I fainted? “
His voice was just a whisper and she giggled. “ You sure did, I feel a little guilty but honoured too. I am very glad you let me be your first.”
He felt himself blush again. “ That..that’s great. I am honoured too. “
She leaned over, kissed him lovingly. “ I have never had anyone who’s fainted before though, was it that overwhelming?”
He could only nod. “ It was, it was..fantastic!”
She got her hair out of her face, her eyes were shining. “ Very glad to hear that. “
She giggled and again she looked very young, but at the same time he could sense that she didn’t count time the same way as others. She leaned against him, placed herself with her head on his chest and he put his arm around her, it felt good to just lay there, together.
And he felt proud in some way too, proud to have dared to go this far, with someone he had just met. But he felt like he had known her for a long time, it was strange really. She sighed and just stared at the small pond and the reflection of the moon upon the water.
“If this isn’t romantic then nothing is!” He nodded and closed his eyes, could feel the warmth of her and her movements as she was breathing. They just lay there for a while, in silence. They did not need to say anything, words were just a disturbance. She crept up, put her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes, she appeared to be perfectly at peace and he had to admit to himself that he too felt at little better. The thoughts were not so persistent any longer. They rested for a while, and then she started to caress him again and rolled them over so he got on top of her. And once more he began exploring her soft sweet body and the pleasures she offered him.
When they returned to the library the sun had started to rise and he felt like a new person, some of the tension within him was gone and he knew he had grown very fond of her already. She had a weird sense of humour and could be very rough and at the same time she was one of the most sensitive and wise women he had ever met. Perhaps the Lady had planed for this to happen? He did not care, it had, and he was happy about it.
The next days he visited the library rather often and the unusual activity was observed. Bruenor was scratching his beard and looked at the elf with narrow eyes, he had never thought that the drow cared about reading? Another dwarf stood next to him and he snickered.
“ He isn’t reading no, I have seen that female who stays there, and have you seen the glimpse within his eyes? “ Bruenor had to think for a second, yes, Drizzt had seemed very happy the last days, In fact very much so. Shining eyes and a new energy to his moves, and those visits to the library?
He gasped! “ Are you telling me that they are..?”
The other dwarf made a wry smile, was doing some very suggestive movements with his arm. “ Oh I bet they are, like wild rabbits I can imagine. Good for him!”
Bruenor nodded but he also felt a little bit concerned. The dark elf was very emotional, and he would hate to see him heartbroken or worse. But maybe this would turn out to be something good after all. He just prayed that it would.
A few days later Aember was finished going through the library and she had found no answer. She was sad but Drizzt knew that she would have to continue looking. And she could not stay any longer, the rocks and the mountain was weighing her down and she longed for sunshine and the forest again. He would have followed her, to the very end of the world if she had asked him but she told him that she needed to do this alone.
He stood there for a long time that last moment, embracing her and trying to savour and remember everything about her, her scent, her laughter and her gentle and yet so strong hands. She shuddered, pulled the cowl over her head again.
“ I promise you, if I do find the answer I seek I will return, no matter what. “
He sighed, felt sad and at the same time he felt a kind of hope. If she could find the answer to her mystery then maybe everybody could find happiness, an answer to what way they should choose in life. He kissed her once more, there was something bitter sweet within his eyes and she smiled and winked at him.
“ I will have these memories, no matter what. “
He made a grin. “ So will I, I will never forget you Aember. “
She squeezed his hand. “ No, don’t you dare!”
She giggled a bit. “ And remember what I taught you. “
He blushed ever so slightly. “ I promise, no more doubt!”
She nodded with a serious glimpse, then she pinched his butt once, blew him a kiss and turned around, walked toward the door with slow steps. He could only stand there and watch her leave, something within him wanted him to yell out, beg her to stay but he knew that it couldn’t be that way. She had to fulfil her destiny, find her answers and her path. Just like he had to find his own.
A smile slowly flowed across his face. That a simple game of truth or dare could turn into this! He would never have guessed that but he was glad it had. It had shown him a truth or two about himself and about life and he was grateful beyond words. And now he had some very good memories to think about. He went to get his gear, his renewed energy made him long for a hunting trip. Indeed, he felt like the world suddenly was a good place after all. He was whistling when he went to his chamber to get his weapons and Guen and the dwarfs were staring at his back before they snickered and continued working.
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